SMU quarterback and Texas native Shane Buechele starts the senior season of his college football career today. It’s been a long and winding journey, but one that has shaped Buechele into the player he is today. Buechele, however, was destined for success from the start, the youngest in a family with athletic bloodlines.
Interestingly, Buechele’s life and career have followed a uniquely similar track as another well-known Texan, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Here’s a look at how incredibly close the two players’ lives have mirrored one another from their very early days.
Patrick Mahomes growing up and playing at Texas Tech
Patrick Mahomes grew up in MLB clubhouses. His father, Pat, was a pitcher and played for numerous teams throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s. When he played for the New York Mets in 1999, a five-year-old Patrick could regularly be found in the outfield shagging fly balls at Shea Stadium.
Fast forward a decade later, and a teenage Mahomes became a star at Whitehouse High School east of Dallas, where he played football, baseball, and basketball. During Mahomes’ senior season, he put on a display both on the football field and the baseball diamond.
In baseball, he pitched a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts. In football, he threw for 4,619 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, and added 948 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. He signed to play both sports with Texas Tech. He played baseball through his sophomore season before solely focusing on football.
After three seasons in Lubbock, Mahomes jumped to the NFL. He finished his football career at Texas Tech throwing for 11,252 yards, 93 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.
Shane Buechele growing up and playing at the University of Texas
Shane Buechele also grew up in MLB clubhouses. His father, Steve, played third baseman for 10 seasons, more than half of his career with the Texas Rangers. A young Shane could often be found hanging out with his father and his teammates in the Rangers clubhouse at Arlington Stadium.
A decade later, a teenage Buechele starred at Arlington Lamar High School, just west of Dallas, where he played football and baseball. During his time at Lamar, Buechele really impressed on the football field. He finished his career passing for 6,379 yards with 73 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,805 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Buechele signed to play football at the University of Texas in 2016. He won the starting job his freshman season and became the first true freshman quarterback to start for the Longhorns since Bobby Layne did it in 1944.
Buechele had an impressive freshman campaign surpassing Colt McCoy for most passing yards by a freshman in school history. He finished with 2,958 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. After two injury-riddled seasons and limited action sitting behind his replacement, Sam Ehlinger, Buechele transferred to SMU.
Shane Buechele shines at SMU
Last season, Shane Buechele, for the first time in several seasons, never had to wonder if he was the starter like he did in Austin. And it showed. Buechele had his best college season throwing for 3,929 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
More importantly than his individual numbers, Buechele guided the Mustangs to a 10-win season for the first time since 1984. Heading into 2020 with Buechele under center, many believe SMU is the favorite in the American Athletic Conference Championship and if things go well, a potential playoff contender.
Shane Buechele hasn’t finished his college career, so projecting how the SMU quarterback will compare to Mahomes as a professional is a bit premature. However, it’s impossible to ignore the similar career paths, going all the way back to those early days as each grew up under the tutelage of their MLB fathers. Whether or not that translates to the two battling against each other in the years to come, only time will tell.
All stats courtesy of College Football Reference.